26 September 2023

Ask the Doctor

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By Paul Gover.

Q: I have been driving a Hyundai i30 since I first my licence seven years ago and it’s coming to the end of its time.

For my next car I would like to get something a little bit bigger as I go camping often, however the car will mostly be used to get me to and from work so I would still like something that has efficient fuel economy and is easy to drive.

My friends drives a Toyota RAV4 so what are your thoughts on those?

Zoe C

A: It sounds like you will be served best by a compact SUV. The RAV4 is good but bigger and costlier than the new Hyundai Venue, which I would recommend as your benchmark and a quality product at a value price.

Q: I have a 2017 Toyota LandCruiser GXL diesel and I’m thinking of upgrading to a Dodge Ram.

Like to now what you think of the Ram and would you get a diesel or petrol?

Cameron L

A: I love the RAM, but only for truly heavy work and major-league towing. As a workhorse it’s a winner, and better than the ‘Cruiser, but I’d still prefer a Toyota if I was just getting a family wagon. Diesel for sure in something that big and heavy.

Q: I have a 23-year-old and he is fixated on purchasing a ute.

He says he needs it for the space including his cricket gear and he is a conditioning coach so has some equipment he needs to carry around.

I am a little apprehensive in him purchasing a ute, as we are not really a four-wheel-drive family.

We started the process in January and he has test driven the Ford, Mitsubishi and holden – and he liked and decided on the Holden Colorado.

However, since the collapse of Holden and with the media reporting prices would drop, this really hasn’t been the case – and the dealers are not budging from their stated prices.

Mary W

A: If he cannot get a good price on the Colorado during COVID-19 the dealer is not serious. He should go back to the Ford Ranger, which was developed in Australia, and also put the Volkswagen Amarok in the mix if he has a solid budget.

Q: I just got my insurance renewal for my Ford Falcon BF XR8, with agreed value.

Last year the value was $6400 and now it’s $5600 but my research over the past two years shows prices rising.

Shouldn’t they be offering a higher agreed value?

Pete P

A: The company might be going off a Red Book valuation or something similar, but it’s an agreed value and you should ask for what you want and see what happens with the premium. If they won’t budge, change companies.

Q: I am looking for something small, reliable, well built etc as a fair car for my son.

I have been thinking Suzuki Swift or Hyundai i30 but is there anything else in this class I should be looking at?

If I am looking for a used model, is there an age range that is better?

I think I have heard post 2014 for the i30 so is there any similar guidance on the Swift.

Steve D

A: As a first car, I would lean towards the Swift. It’s smaller and more fuel efficient, has excellent reliability, and should be easier to get a good one secondhand. The i30 gives more space and also fine, so let him choose. Newer the better.

Q: My wife has just retired and I will be retiring very shortly and we are looking at buying a small-to-medium SUV, both for ease of access and comfort.

At the moment we are impressed by the Hyundai Kona and I wondered what your opinion is of them or perhaps any alternative vehicles.

Neill S

A: I’m also impressed, very, by the Kona. But also take a look at the Kia Seltos, which is a Kona clone – it’s one company – in case you prefer its styling or can get a better deal.

If you have a question for the Car Doctor, send an email to [email protected]

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